Flashback Friday: Widespread Panic

“Burning Down the House” – NYE 2013


By Paul Allen

December 31, 2013 felt special. The crowd gathering outside Phillips Arena was ready. After trips to different destinations in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Home Team returned to Atlanta for the first time in three years to celebrate the New Year. Everyone knew it was going to be special, but few could’ve predicted exactly what the band had in store. The cold air outside gave way to the warm confines of Phillips Arena and the excitement only grew.

The band began the evening in traditional New Years fashion as JB sat in a chair on acoustic guitar and the rest of the band remained plugged in. The show started off with a trio of Neil Young covers in “Journey Through the Past”, “Don’t be Denied”, and “Time Fades Away”. The crowd let out its usual roar of approval during the “we started a band, we played all night” line of “Don’t Be Denied”. When JB yelled “rock n rollllll” before “Climb to Safety”, we knew the remainder of the night would be one big party.

After a great second set featuring the Megablasters sitting in on exceptional version of “Old Neighborhood”, the crowd was on cloud nine. As the countdown to midnight commenced, and everyone celebrated being in the band’s backyard for New Years, the energy was through the roof. What could possibly make this evening any better? The confetti was falling and the PA music was blasting. As everyone celebrated and partied, the band snuck on stage without many noticing. The opening notes of the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” began to play, and initially the crowd froze. Was this the traditional house music playing, or was the band actually busting out one of their most sought after covers ever? The band traditionally plays “Burning Down the House” over the PA system after stand out shows, but this time they were treating the crowd to it in a live setting – and the place literally came unglued. Check out the fan reaction to this unrivaled moment in Widespread Panic history in the video below.

Video by BravePhrend

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